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2018 - Raid Corsica
Cobbie's Selected Race Results

Raid du Massif Central - 6 days, 562 miles, 16,300m ascent, 46 hrs Report


Aug - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:12; 60/301. Report

July - Raid Pyrenean Report

May - Chester Tri West Coast of Scotland Cycling trip ... 300 miles in 3 days. Report


Sep - Scilly Swim Challenge, 11 miles of swimming in 5 stages Report


June - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:33; 25/275 Very Happy Very Happy


March - Gin Pit Marathon; 3:59:26. 14/39


Became a dad Cool

Oct 2011 - Feb 2012

Travelling the world Cool
Nepal - Annapurna Circuit and Chitwan
S. E. Asia and trekking in New Zealand
South America
Trekking the 'Circuito del Dientes de Navarino'; Chilean Tierra del Fuego


Sep - AXTri - Report

June - Chester to John O'Groats cycle ride with the Tri Club; 637 miles in 9 days

2010 Races

Sep - Ö TILL Ö; 14:19; Report

2009 Races

Nov - Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge; 78.6 miles. Day 1 - 5th in 4:39. Very Happy Day 2 - Retired with ITB injury after 15 miles Sad

Oct 4th - Sandstone Trail 'A' Race; 17 miles, 1750ft 2:19:15; 29/156

Aug 8th - Norseman 14:57; 81=/230 Report No1 & Report No2 Smile

June 28th - A Day in the Lakes HIM 5:55:18; 68/309 Report

June 17th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:12; 13/100 Report Very Happy

May 31st - Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Cyclosportif 107 miles, 3000+m ascent; 7:20:26

March 28th Cheshire Cat Cyclosportif 105 miles; 7:04 Report

March 21st - Chester Tri Runners vs Kayaks; Llangollen Canal 32.4 miles; 5:22 Report

2008 Races
The year I was a fat bast@rd Rolling Eyes

Atlantic Coast Challenge 78miles; About 18 hrs Report

Norseman 17:05 Report

Etape du Dales 110 miles; 8:40ish with puncture

2007 Races

Nov 17th - Penmaenmawr Fell Race (11 miles, 1500ft); 1:35:23; 50/220

Bala Olympic Tri 2:14:00; 217/773 (AG 61/203) Smile Report

Hathersage Hilly - 1:22:34; 19/169 and AG 4/43 Smile ; Report

July 11th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 23:16; 15/76 Smile

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 1:25:02; 59/3800ish finishers Very Happy Very Happy AG 5th Vet Shocked Very Happy ; Report

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages Half Marathon 86:52; 152/1570


Nov 18th - Penmaenmawr Fell Race (11 miles, 1500ft); 1:31:42; 24/237; Report Very Happy Very Happy

Oct 8th - Pentland Skyline (16.2 miles, 6,200ft); 3:30:54; 79/150; Report. Blisters Crying or Very sad

Oct 1st - Sandstone Trail “A” Race (17 miles, 1750ft) 2:15:14; 14/135 3rd V40; Report Very Happy Very Happy

Sept 24th – South Shropshire Sprint 1:23; 28/234

July 23rd - TLD Bike Relay 5:52:38; Report

June 7th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 28:47; 24/97 Smile

June 4th - Bala Middle 4:47:39 Crying or Very sad

May 7th - Fred Whitton Challenge 112 miles, 4,150m of ascent, 8:18:52; Report

March 19th - Edale Skyline Fell Race 21.3 miles, 4,620ft; 3:48:25, 100/260

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 92:55; 52/3283 finishers Very Happy Very Happy AG 6/521; Report

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages Half Marathon 85:43; 152/1655 Very Happy


Oct 30th - Snowdonia Marathon 3:54:50; 265/961

Oct 2nd - Sandstone Trail “A” Race (16.8 miles, 1750ft) 2:17:41; 29/111 Very Happy

Sep 18th - Bala Olympic Tri 2:20:31; 83/433 (AG 17/100) Very Happy

Sep 10th - Helvellyn Tri 4:17:38; 43/331
Report Very Happy Very Happy

July 24th - The Longest Day 11:00:25; 40/150

June 5th - Bala Middle 4:39:54; 92/318 (AG 25/87)
Very Happy

Mar 15th - Wuthering Hike [31 miles 4400 ft] 5:35 Smile

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 93:49; 161/3,500 Very Happy

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages half marathon 90:39; 256/1504

Survival of the Shawangunks - 5:29:45 35/120 Very Happy
Wolverhampton Oly 2:19:50 Very Happy

The year of illness and poor motivation Crying or Very sad
Powerman UK 3:47

HIM Llanberis 5:09:40 Very Happy Very Happy

HIM Llanberis 5:38 Cool Cool
All about Cobbie

Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Location: Chester
Occupation: Consultant
Interests: Red wine and cakes

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Fred Whitton Race Report
Mon May 08, 2006 4:40 pm Cobbie
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Just a very looooooooong report today Wink , general update later.

Fred Whitton 2006
A story of True Grit, bad weather, crap route finding and walking in socks!

Profile, map, description and photos in sunny weather here

I first heard about this long bike race just over a year ago and despite having no great desire to enter cycling events, found myself fascinated by the prospect of such a massive day out. It also seemed sensible to take on such an undertaking whilst my cycling was at a peak through ironman training but the 2005 event was already full, hence my 2006 entry hit the postbox as soon as they opened on 1st January and I then sweated for a week before getting confirmation of my entry – number 518 out of 600…leave the form filling for a day and you don’t get in!

In preparation there’s no doubt that I’ve done more cycling than ever before, including a recce of the course in two stages. No doubt that I could get up the hills, the question was how would I do 100 miles into the event? To this point, I had done two rides of just under 100 miles in preparation for The Longest Day last summer and that ride as part of the ironman…not exactly ideal training for this!

As it drew closer, I started to worry about wheels. My recce of the first part of the course had been made on carbon rims and I’d found braking on the descents OK but this was in excellent weather over the Bank Holiday weekend – the long-range race day weather forecast was poor. Last Monday, I made the decision to swap back to my Bontrager clinchers but I knew they needed a service first. Unfortunately, the shop got the wrong front bearing and so on Friday afternoon I was left with just a rear wheel…the front carbon rim would have to stay.

Race day arrived yesterday in a dark, misty, drizzly dawn. It didn’t look like we were going to get a good day at all as I brewed up at 5am and pulled the tent down. Registration was already busy at 6 and I met and chatted with a Matty W and Markie R but no sign of my clubmate Rosey.

I got underway at about 6:50, just behind Matt and his mates and cycled up Hawkshead Hill with him before he dropped back to stick with his group. The early morning damp chill made my breathing somewhat tight but nothing to get worried about and although I needed to get out of the saddle a couple of times, I was up and over easily enough. The route then heads through Ambleside before a left turn towards Troutbeck and the first bit of tough climbing before undulating through Troutbeck village. I was warmed up by now and feeling strong but focussed. I knew I had my sensible head on because when Trev_zz caught me, I let him go and kept on spinning at my own comfortable pace – my 8 hour target meant averaging 14mph which sounds easy but with over 4,000m of climbing it’s actually a real challenge, especially for a relative non-cyclist like myself.

The upper part on the Kirkstone is mainly steady but with some out of the saddle steeper sections. I passed an old climbing mate, Adam from Sheffield Tri and had a quick chat before reaching the summit. We were up in the mist now and I was glad of my arm warmers once we went over the top – dripping sweat turned chill in a few seconds as I made my most competent descent yet, for the first time barely noticing how narrow the road is and the dry stone walls on either side. Of course things are all relative – if you’re frightened here, you’ll be a quivering wreck at Honister and crying by the side of the road at the top of Hardknott!

The descent of the Kirkstone is on the Helvellyn tri route so I knew the course from here to Keswick very well. At Matterdale, I managed the whole climb seated again and more easily than during my recce, I could even become a confirmed spinner before much longer. I was feeling better all the time and not having to stretch myself at all, which made up for the drizzle as I reached the turn west onto the A66. This turn marks the start of a long, fast descent which normally suffers from strong cross winds – not today though, I had my most straightforward ride along it to date and reached the turn to Borrowdale well up on my ‘average’ schedule – I’d need this time buffer later on at Hardknott and Wrynose.

The road surface around Derwent Water is the worst on the course and the riding lumpy, making it very easy to get stuck in too high a gear. I’d learnt from my recce though and spun my way along whilst trying to avoid being jarred too much by the bumpy road. Finally, I got to Seatoller and the first major challenge of the climb up Honister Pass. I’d attacked this too hard on my previous ascent so set off very steadily, managing the less steep sections seated. I’d decided already that I’d take short stops if I ever felt that I was going to lose control of my breathing and did so at a lessening of angle before the last really steep bit. The 30 second stop did me good and I felt strong when I reached the upper fell, still steep but much more straightforward. Any thoughts of a dry descent had long evaporated (unlike the rain!) and I took it very steadily. It looks straightforward from the top as you can see the road clearly for a long way ahead – unfortunately, you can’t see that just beyond the steep descent there’s a sharp bend, something that several riders discovered to their cost, one apparently losing some teeth, another crashing into a stone wall.

Not long after this I made it to the first feed station (52 miles in 3:22) and some wonderful brownies that I’m sure would have been vile at any other time (when sober at any rate). I’d gone with dilute lucozade in my camelback and strong electrolyte in a bottle on the bike of which I’d drunk half and topped that up. After only a couple of minutes and a lot of roadies giggling at my tri set-up I was back in the saddle and immediately faced with the turn back towards Keswick over Newlands Pass. This is for me the most beautiful part of the route but I didn’t get to see much of it today; my sweat, combined with the now persistent rain meant that my glasses steamed up right at the bottom of the climb and didn’t clear until the descent. Luckily, at 5mph it’s pretty easy to see where you’re going and I managed to see over the top of the frames by pulling the bridge down to the end of my nose. It’s never really steep but it’s practically all out of the saddle steady climbing and there was never a point where I felt I could get glasses off and safely into a pocket. Worst of all, there was a crowd on the summit and a photographer – pride wouldn’t let me stop now so I must have looked a strange sight peering over my frames. Fortunately the descent here is steady apart from a couple of large, killer potholes which could be a real problem if you met a car coming the other way. The rain eased before the left turn towards Whinlatter Pass and then stopped completely on the ascent. A group of roadies passed me low down and I surprised my self by keeping up with them more-or-less until the summit where once again there was a big crowd cheering us on. Whinlatter is one of the easier main ascents but quite long and there are a couple of steep sections – it’s also significantly over half way at 61.5 miles, though my GPS and bike computer both had it at 60. Only 50 miles to go and more importantly, the easiest part of the ride, 40 miles to Hardknott and no really big climbs. It’s still lumpy over the wonderfully named Fangs Brow and Swarth Fell but there are also some long, flattish sections where I made up a lot of time and kept myself about 20 minutes ahead of my 14mph schedule.

It was leaving the second feed station that things went wrong. I’d had a 5 min stop – swift Paula, more glutinous brownies, orange squash and a check of my brakes before setting off and missing the immediate right turn to Santon Bridge [basically, I followed the yellow road on the map from Gosforth to Nether Wasdale and then back south to regain the route at Santon Bridge]. I estimate that I cycled about 4 additional miles and lumpy instead of flat; my time buffer was gone.

I had left the second feed station after exactly 6 hours and reached the bottom of Hardknott an hour later, after only a net 10 or 11 miles. The fact that I’d already surpassed my previous time record of 6:30ish didn’t register, nor the fact that I was over the century for the second time ever. I started up Hardknott feeling pretty annoyed at myself and knowing that one hour wasn’t going to be enough for the last 11 or so miles. Added to this, it had started to rain again, this time quite heavily. Going over the cattle grid at the start of the steep climbing, both wheels slipped and I was practically stationary. I made it a few yards further but my mental concentration had gone. I got off and pushed for a while and then got thoroughly p1ssed off with the whole thing and took off my cycling shoes which were slipping all over the place on the wet road. Things were easier in socks and I wasn’t really very much slower than those who were cycling. At half way, the angle lessens a bit and so I got back on and cycled up to the last steep section where my resolve waned again and I pushed once more to the top - the ascent took me about 23 minutes for 1.5 miles. Coming down in the rain was what I’d most feared but I made it safely at a careful 10mph and tired arms from clamping the brake levers ever so tightly. On the valley floor, I expected to get a free ride for the few miles to Wrynose. No such luck – this latest band of rain came with a breeze attached and I found myself going along at about 12 mph in my second lowest gear. Wrynose isn’t so bad low down and even in my dejected state I pedalled steadily to the last couple of hundred yards before I once again decided to push rather than stop and rest – I just wanted it to be over now.

The descent off Wrynose was busy with traffic as well as steep and wet. At one point I got overtaken by a red Golf which then stopped to let another car through. I was close behind so the car coming the other way waved me on, at which point the Golf decided that he wasn’t having that and tried to nip through a non-existent gap, practically forcing the car coming up the pass off the road. Fortunately I’d seen it coming and was quite impressed that I managed to stop without falling off the bike. I glared at the driver in his wing mirror – he knew he’d been a complete w@nker but wasn’t prepared to acknowledge it over the half minute or so that it took for the car coming uphill to squeeze past. Thankfully there was no more drama but even so, I was mentally exhausted at the bottom. Having hardly pedalled over the previous 50 mins I was also very cold and started to shiver – memories of being hypothermic at the end of The Longest Day came to mind.

I had expected that last few miles to be easy but of course that wasn’t the case. First there is a climb through Little Langdale and finally a steep climb up to a right turn onto the Coniston road, where of course I had to stop at the T-junction - it would have all been so easy just a couple of hours ago but now I just wanted to be finished; the only positive was that it warmed me up. Thankfully, this really was the last of the difficulties and I reached the finish a couple of miles later in 8:18:52. A quick change into dry clothes, a cup of coffee and a couple of Cumberland sausages later and I felt much better. I had a chat with Matty W and Rosey before heading off.

Now of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say at this point “NEVER AGAIN” and I do think that I won’t do this again unless I’ve done a lot more cycling prep and put on a sensible triple chain-ring. However, now that I reflect, I realise that there are a lot of positives for me to take out of the event. If I’d not gone wrong then I would certainly have been very close to my 8 hour target, certainly close enough for me to be content. As it was, this was my longest ever ride by about 1 hour 45 mins, the longest distance I’ve cycled by a couple of miles and at 4150m of ascent [according to Motion Based], really stupidly hilly and probably the hardest cycle ride that I will ever do. Finally, the lead-up can probably be best described as an inverse taper – FW came at the end of the two biggest training weeks of my life [14:20 and 15:05 including FW - real lizzy territory Shocked ] and yet I still got round in a respectable time. So overall, a good result and one that will stand me in good stead over the summer I think. Smile
Almost back to being an athlete in 2016 Shocked

Mon May 08, 2006 5:11 pm T-rex of Tri
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Gripping stuff Cobbie, I didn't think I'd get through it, but it kept me intrigued. As noted elsewhere I don't like hills on bikes (only running), but that sounds like fun... hmmm... is there time after IMNZ to rest up for it?

The bit with the slipping on the cattle grid had me kinda scared, I tend to slip on hills when pushing too high a gear and know what it does for motivation.

Well done Pete, another brick in the wall for the Norseman.
'Mon the Biff

Mon May 08, 2006 7:47 pm ajh67
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Which took longer - the FW or writing the report Wink ?

Great effort cobbie and congrats on completing such a tough event. Sounds like you took it pretty sensibly expect for the carbon rims Very Happy I wouldn't have been happy as I struggle on hills at the best of times.
Just a mortal with potential of a superman...

Mon May 08, 2006 7:53 pm Iain
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Cracking job cobbie and a cracking write up. Maybe I'll do a lap while I'm up there for the week after Helvellyn. Then again, maybe I'll have more sense Rolling Eyes .
Was it Henry, the mild mannered janitor?
Special new IM Florida Blog - Feel free to pop in and abuse me. Smile

Mon May 08, 2006 8:52 pm sideshow bob
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cracking blog post Cobbie.
It sounded like you earnt you're T-shirt that day or do they give out knighthoods to the finishers?


Tue May 09, 2006 8:03 am tabtri
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Well done Pete - a great ride and a great report and now you're responsible for another thing on my to do list Very Happy
My excessive healthy enthusiasm has returned - now I need outlets for my competitive spirit Smile

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